‘Sparkle, baby! Sparkle!’ Really?! 

Bestselling author Teresa Tomeo sees little shine in the world of child pageantry

by Kevin Wandra Thursday, November 17, 2011

For More Information:
Tim Lilley, 678-990-9032 or
Kevin Wandra, 678-990-9032 or

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 17, 2011 – Over the last weekend of October, Daily feature writer Rich Juzwiak served as a judge at the Universal Royalty Nationals pageant in Austin, Texas. Universal Royalty’s pageants have been featured on TLC’s controversial TV series, “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

Juzwiak related the experience in a piece published Wednesday in The Daily, News Corp.’s digital newspaper for the iPad. “Their goal,” he wrote of the contestants, “in the words of a brassy tenor that rang out from the audience behind me: ‘Sparkle, baby! Sparkle.’”

“I understand the revulsion that people feel when they see kids trotted out like pigs at a fair,” Juzwiak wrote later in the piece, “but it’s also illustrative of our societal values, namely the premium we put on looks.”

“When it comes to the objectification and the over-sexualization of young girls, in many ways the buck stops with the parents,” counters bestselling author and syndicated radio host Teresa Tomeo. “It’s not the 3-year-olds or 5-year-olds spending thousands of dollars on dresses, make-up, and spray tans to make them look like 2 going on 25. It's Mom and Dad footing the bill and passing on a harmful message that what's on the outside is more important. We see in this article – and on TLC's “Toddlers and Tiaras” – that it’s the parents fulfilling some lifelong dream, desire, or need they have to look, act, and be treated a certain way."

In her new book EXTREME MAKEOVER, available now from Ignatius Press, Tomeo discusses the pervasiveness of this mindset in today’s culture and talks about ways that women, children and families can make an “extreme media makeover” to rid themselves of the messages and toxic images that bombard them daily, and instead embrace the truth about their human dignity.

To schedule an interview with Tomeo and/or to request a review copy of EXTREME MAKEOVER, contact Tim Lilley (TLilley@MaximusMG.com) or Kevin Wandra (KWandra@MaximusMG.com) of The Maximus Group at 678-990-9032, or at the email addresses above.


0    submitted by Kevin Wandra
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